Third Party Complaints

The Third Party Complaint procedure allows any person, group, or organization to report serious violations of workers’ rights in facilities used by any company committed to FLA labor standards. It is one of several tools FLA has available to address such issues.

The process is not intended to replace or undermine existing internal grievance channels in factories, or legal remedies available at the country level. Rather, it provides an added precaution. The complaint procedure is intended as a tool of last resort when other channels have failed to protect workers’ rights.

The Third Party Complaint process has brought about positive changes for workers. Outcomes include reinstatement of unfairly dismissed workers with back pay and recognition of trade unions. Other examples are the establishment of training and education programs for management and workers and improved relations between workers and management at factories.

View our Third Party Complaint tracking chart

Third Party Complaint process

Anyone may file a Third Party Complaint, but workers and their advocates – trade unions and CSOs – have been the primary sources of submissions.

When a complaint is lodged, FLA verifies whether the factory in question produces for an FLA member company or university licensee and whether the complaint contains specific and verifiable allegations of noncompliance with the FLA Fair Labor Code.

FLA also considers whether local dispute resolution mechanisms were used to resolve the issues and what results they achieved.

FLA accepts the complaint for review if it meets the criteria and then contacts the companies sourcing from the factory in question.

A company has 45 days to conduct an assessment and develop a remediation plan. If warranted, FLA may intervene by engaging a third party to investigate the allegations and recommend corrective action. The company must then develop a plan to address items not in compliance.

FLA reports on Third Party Complaints received and their progress throughout the procedure.

Learn more or file a Third Party Complaint